Each year, the month of February is dedicated to promoting heart health and raising awareness for heart disease – the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The American Heart Association actively researches advanced methods to combat the disease, but there are many ways to take matters into your own hands. Flywheel Boston instructor and Harvard Fellow, Rachele Pojednic recommends practical lifestyle changes, such as boosting your cardio activity, managing your stress and balancing your nutrition, to help gain control of your health. Here, she shares five ways to improve your vascular health (Flywheel, anyone?!).
- PUMP UP THE CARDIO: Chronic inflammation is a leading cause of heart disease overall. Aerobic exercise, like a Fly45 or Fly60 class can lead to reductions in total body inflammation by 15-25%, which can drastically reduce your overall cardiovascular risk.
- INCREASE INTERVALS: Arterial stiffness can be a precursor to cardiovascular complications like stroke and heart attack. However, interval training, experienced throughout every Flywheel class, has been shown to significantly reduce arterial stiffness, keeping your blood pumping.
- SNACK STRONG: You can boost the anti-inflammatory and vascular health effects with a wholesome snack after your ride. Pop a few walnuts in your bag or grab that potassium-filled banana on your way out to further reduce inflammation and keep your blood vessels strong.
- COUNT NUMBERS: Use your metrics to help you monitor your cardiac output. Whether the interval calls for an RPM of 100 or a Torq of 40, keeping an eye on your edge will help you max your cardiovascular health. On a scale of 1-10, pay attention to how you feel during your most challenging intervals and notice how it changes over time. As your numbers improve, so will your heart.
- MANAGE YOUR STRESS: Stress can be a huge part of developing heart disease. Aerobic fitness can be an important determinant to how you mentally handle anxiety-filled situations, as well as how your body manages stress hormones. Coming to the stadium and riding with your #FlyFam can literally save your life!
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